IANS

US-India security cooperation deepened over last year: Envoy

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Security cooperation between India and the US expanded and deepened over the last one year while bilateral trade and investment has reached new heights, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster said on Monday.

“The ties between our countries continue to grow stronger in so many ways,” Juster said in a video message posted on his Twitter handle on the occasion of the completion of his first year as envoy to India.

He recalled his remarks in January shortly after his arrival when he said that the US and India “are on the path to forming an enduring partnership” during the 21st century.

“Our security cooperation has expanded and deepened,” he said.

“This was highlighted at the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi in September when we signed a major communications and security agreement known as COMCASA.”

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis participated in the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue during which the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) was signed.

COMCASA guarantees India access to critical US defence technologies and communication networks to help the militaries of the two countries in their interoperability.

“Our levels of bilateral trade and investment have reached new heights,” Juster said.

“We showcased the US and India as leaders in innovation and technology at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) last November.”

At the GES, which was held in Hyderabad in November 2017, the US was represented by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

Juster said that India and the US launched a strategic energy dialogue and enhanced cooperation in aviation and railroad transportation.

He said the two sides celebrated the 18th anniversary of the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum “and continue to do promising work in the health care and agriculture sectors”.

“The US and India work together on regional connectivity in South Asia and peace-keeping in Africa.

“All these are part of our broader coordination to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

India and the US are part of a quad, also comprising Japan and Australia, that was revived last year seeking to work together in the Indo-Pacific, a region that stretches from the eastern coast of Japan to the eastern coast of Africa.

This came amid China’s increasing influence in the region.

Juster that all of these efforts were built on the foundation of “extraordinary people-to-people ties between our two countries and the dedication and cooperation of our Indian partners.

–IANS
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